Unconscious Comedians - Honore de Balzac - Страница 1 из 84

By Honore De Balzac
Translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley
To Monsieur le Comte Jules de Castellane.
Leon de Lora, our celebrated landscape painter, belongs to one of the
noblest families of the Roussillon (Spanish originally) which, although
distinguished for the antiquity of its race, has been doomed for a
century to the proverbial poverty of hidalgos. Coming, light-footed,
to Paris from the department of the Eastern Pyrenees, with the sum of
eleven francs in his pocket for all viaticum, he had in some degree
forgotten the miseries and privations of his childhood and his family
amid the other privations and miseries which are never lacking to
"rapins," whose whole fortune consists of intrepid vocation. Later, the
cares of fame and those of success were other causes of forgetfulness.
If you have followed the capricious and meandering course of these
studies, perhaps you will remember Mistigris, Schinner's pupil, one
of the heroes of "A Start in Life" (Scenes from Private Life), and his
brief apparitions in other Scenes. In 1845, this landscape painter,
emulator of the Hobbemas, Ruysdaels, and Lorraines, resembles no more
the shabby, frisky rapin whom we then knew. Now an illustrious man, he
owns a charming house in the rue de Berlin, not far from the hotel de
Brambourg, where his friend Brideau lives, and quite close to the house
of Schinner, his early master. He is a member of the Institute and

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